Sunday, September 30, 2012

Full Fall Festival Fun

Landon started karate down at the local community center on Monday. He really seems to enjoy it. He happened also to have a soccer game, so he slept very well.

Eliza continues to progress with her speech therapy. She has learned how to say many new words this week and continues to amaze us with the other ways she lets us know that she is one smart cookie.

We removed our piano with the intent of donating it along with other furniture to a family in the branch. It sat outside overnight. Our neighbors down the street, seeing that the piano was available, are now its happy owners. It only cost them a two-hour haul down the block on a dolly.

We moved the rest of the furniture on Wednesday, thanks to the missionaries serving in our branch and a couple in the branch who own a truck that has pretty much seen it all from moves to Eagle Scout projects to cross-country drives. Thanks to all who helped out!

Hallie took Eliza to a Kindermusic class at Sara’s. She loves music and has a real sense of rhythm. 

Look at her rock Landon’s headphones:

We ran some errands in the evening with Sara. She and Jason were planning to go to the ball game, but after Sara got home, she called Hallie asking if we wanted to go see the game instead. Hallie has not seen a game this season, so she and Landon took advantage of a fun night watching the Tigers win at Comerica Park.

We had a busy day with errands and work on Thursday. On Friday, Mike accompanied Hallie and Eliza to Eliza’s Play and Say class. The girl zoomed from one activity to another to another with two parents breathlessly trying to keep up.

Eliza started climbing out of her crib on Friday night, so in order to keep her from hurting herself we converted it to a toddler bed. Of course, this means that she can climb out. We had a bit of a struggle getting her to stay in bed both at naptime and in the evening Saturday.

Between her new bed bouts, Eliza and the rest of us filled Saturday with several activities. We invited our friend Lamonica along as we went on our adventures. We started with the Park Fall Festival, the local farmers market’s closing celebration. Because we got there early, the kids were able to use the blow-up rides to their hearts’ content before the crowds took over. We sampled goodies and perused the booths and almost lost track of the time.

The kids decided to take on this super tall climbing tower. You'd think by the way they scaled it they did things of this sort all the time.

Candids courtesy of Lamonica

Fortunately, Hallie remembered that Landon had a soccer game in time for them and Lamonica to go there in a mad rush while Mike tried to get Eliza to settle down. She did sleep, and the rest of the gang did have fun at the game while Mike got some work done.

After everyone got home and Eliza woke up, we spent some time in the front yard with the neighbor kids riding skateboards and bikes. Landon now knows how to keep his balance and coast along, thanks to learning the ropes from the kids down the block. Eliza, upon seeing Dad’s bike in the garage, insisted on having a ride. Like her big brother, Eliza really loves the rush of riding on the kangaroo bike seat. We imagine this will also mean that once she gets a bike of her own, she will take to it like a pro.

We ended the day’s activities by attending the fall carnival at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic church at the invitation of the mom of one of Landon’s friends at gymnastics. Again, everyone played games, rode rides, and indulged in goodies before we finally dropped Lamonica off at home and put the kiddos to bed.  

Mike was released from his calling as branch clerk, so that means for a little while at least he will not need to attend the early morning meetings. No getting to church before sunrise this winter (or so we can hope)!
Fall is definitely here in the Park. To see just how rapidly leaves are turning, compare this pic from Sunday to the piano moving one from Tuesday. 

He's still the physical facilities guy and a teacher in Elder's Quorum, so there will still be plenty to keep him occupied. We attended the Metro Parent Education Expo 2012 at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  

The girl watched these elephants in rapt fascination. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Everyone Felt Like Royalty This Week

Well, kinda. We had some experiences this week relating to crowns, festivals, and banquets, so it’s a bit of a stretch, but we’re going to go with it.

Mike went to the dentist on Tuesday to follow up visit after his cleaning. It turned out that a potential cavity turned into a needed crown replacement (really? Really? C’mon now). Needless to say, Mike was caught by unpleasant surprise that he was receiving the royal treatment again on the same tooth.

The dentist was so casual about it as he explained that the tooth needed working on. Then out came the needles and the pliers and the pulling and the cracking. Then came the interesting part. Crowns have changed a lot in the last ten years. Apparently now the dentist takes digital images of the affected area and with those images creates a 3-D digital rendering of the tooth which is then milled in color-matched porcelain on site. Royal treatment, indeed. Good thing we have insurance. . . .

In many other ways, we really have settled into a fall routine with the kids in preschool and Mike back teaching. The kids had some fun exploring nature and mugging for the camera. 
daddy's little princess

Mike managed to make Landon’s soccer game on Wednesday. We’re not sure how into it he is, but he says he enjoys playing, and we enjoy cheering him and the other kids on while trying to corral Eliza. Landon has now learned how to climb the rope in his gymnastics class, as in, he really climbs to scary heights on the thing to survey his realm. He sleeps like a king on his twin-sized bed after he comes home from the two activities.

Hallie had purchased Groupon tickets a while back to use at the Renaissance Festival this Saturday, so we skipped soccer to go hang out with the minstrels, troubadours, faeries, knights, witches, tradespeople, and of course royals up in Holly. Rain threatened (keeping the crowds down), but it never fell (yay!).

Landon got to fly high with the help of bungee cords.

We ran across Queen Elizabeth and her royal entourage.

Eliza made her own magic wand.

Landon practiced his jousting skills.

Three cheers for Sir Landon!

Before the joust, the performers held a parade.

This witch gave Landon Nerds and Eliza ghost poop (marshmallows).

He's holding an 11 year old falcon.
 On to the joust:

After all the excitement, we tested our skills.

In all, we had a grand old time! 

Our neighbor up the street has done work on our back porch, and between that and another couple of painting projects Hallie has going with our front porch furniture (not forgetting the shoe dresser). We’ll eventually have to post all the colorful results once they are completed. 

Our friend Amberly invited us over for dinner tonight. She treated us to the world's best grilled steak! Seriously, she got the recipe on the Internet for the world's best grilled steak and made it for us. We even ate like royalty this week.